Washoe County moves forward with Tahoe Area Plan
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Washoe County is bringing Incline Village and Crystal Bay more in line with other communities in the basin with the passage of the first reading of the Tahoe Area Plan.
The Tahoe Regional Plan, which was updated in 2012, aims to guide community development, ecosystem restoration, transportation planning and revitalizing the region’s economy.
Under the umbrella of the regional plan, area plans are meant to help implement the regional plan in a way that makes sense for each community.
According to Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s website, “these plans are intended to reflect the community’s vision for its future.”
While many communities in the basin have area plans including Meyers, Placer County and several on the South Shore, Washoe lacked a plan for Incline Village and Crystal Bay.
During the Tuesday, Jan 26, Washoe County Commissioners meeting, Eric Young, senior planner for the county, presented the plan. He said the goals are to establish a uniform planning approach, bring the communities more into conformance with the Tahoe Regional Plan, and reflect changing economic and social realities such as the rise in demand for alternative transportation and outdoor recreation.
Washoe County and TRPA had a few differences when it came to building codes so with the Tahoe Area Plan, TRPA’s codes now supersedes the county’s.
The development codes are just a part of the plan, other parts will have a bigger impact on the community.
The plan encourages the county to develop a town center and includes a mobility hub to fall in line with TRPA’s transportation plan. While the proposed mobility hub at the old elementary school has been a contentious issue, this plan does not require the hub to be built on that site.
“Transportation plans have become to emphasize mobility hubs,” Young told the commissioners. “[The plan] doesn’t say it has to happen on any specific plot, it just states that it’s desired.”
Young also told the commissioners that development of a community wide parking and local transit plan are some of the first efforts that can come out of adoption of the plan.
“Parking is a consistent issue,” Young said. “The community is done talking about it, they want action.”
Alexis Hill, newly-elected commissioner for District 1 which covers Incline Village and Crystal Bay, has requested the county manager bring an agenda item to the board that would allow it to hire a consultant to give analysis on what it will take to meet some of the communities’ needs, including parking, sidewalks and walking paths.
Hill told the Tribune she wants to “look holistically at the community, not just focus on transportation.”
This would include more community meeting spaces, and county spaces in the community to make the county more accessible.
“Once this plan is approved, there’s a lot of opportunities for Washoe County do some better community planning up in Incline Village,” Hill said during the meeting.
One issue that was raised during public comment was that the community engagement for this plan happened in 2012 and a lot has changed since then. Hill encouraged the approval of the first reading so the process can move forward but said changes and amendments can be made.
“I do understand the communities’ concerns and I look forward to continuing the dialogue,” Hill said to the Tribune.
Now that the plan has been approved from the commission it will go through several TRPA committees before appearing before the TRPA Governing Board. If approved there it will go back to Washoe County for final approval which Hill thinks could happen in April.
To learn more about the Tahoe Area Plan, visit https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_development/tahoe_area_plan.php.
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